English Language Arts

ELA Strands

The standards for ELA are divided into five strands:

  • Foundational K-5 Literacy
  • Language 6-12
  • Reading
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Writing

Standard notation is as follows:

The standards are coded with the grade level, title of the strand, the category within the strand, and the number within the strand.


  • K is the grade level.
  • Foundational Literacy (FL) is the strand.
  • Print Concepts (PC) is the category.
  • 1 is the number of the standard within the strand.

The State Board of Education has the authority to adopt academic standards for each subject area in grades K-12.

The ELA standards are designed to prepare students with the most important knowledge and 21st century literacy skills necessary to succeed in post-secondary and workforce arenas. These standards emphasize critical and divergent thinking, problem solving, active listening, recognition of patterns and anomalies, and evaluation and questioning of source material.

Note: The State Board of Education sets the requirements for high school graduation (see the High School Policy). Per SBE Rule, students must achieve four high school level units of English in order to graduate with a high school diploma.

Download the ELA standards for the 2017-18 school year.

We have placed all ELA standards in one document with a table of contents at the beginning. By presenting the standards in a vertical chart by standard rather than separately by grade, we are seeking to emphasize how the skills for reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language spiral through all of the grade levels, leading to postsecondary and workforce readiness.

  • In grades K–5, the standards signal the importance of laying a solid foundation for reading and writing.
  • The middle grades, 6–8, solidify the foundation while increasing the complexity of text selection and tasks.
  • Finally, grades 9–12 focus on sophistication and style.

Since the standards build on each other over time, we highly recommend that educators review the standards of the grade level before and after their grade level in order to better understand how the standards in their grade level fit into the students’ overall development. 

AP, IB, and Cambridge

Please visit the associated websites in order to view standards: